M&S Engineering enters San Antonio following M&A deal

Sergio Chapa

One of the Alamo City area’s largest engineering firms now has an office in San Antonio following a merger-and-acquisition deal.

After more than six months of negotiations, M&S Engineering bought the San Antonio Design Group for an undisclosed sum in a deal that closed on Jan. 1. The two companies, which spent the past few months consolidating their operations, only recently announced the deal.

Three of M&S Engineering’s five principals: Shareholder Heath Woods, co-founder Brian and co-founder Keith Strimple outside the company’s headquarters in Spring Branch.

Headquartered in the Comal County town of Spring Branch where it boasts 29 registered engineers on staff, M&S Engineering ranks fourth on the San Antonio Business Journal list of the area’s largest engineering firms. The deal gives the company its first office inside San Antonio city limits and boosts its headcount.

M&S Engineering Partner Heath Woods said the firm also has branches in Georgetown, The Woodlands and New Braunfels, where so far, its focus has been on rural infrastructure projects. The recent deal will enable the company to pursue work with San Antonio Water System, Bexar County and the city of San Antonio.

“We always had a doughnut philosophy about San Antonio and Austin. Now we’re going in,” Woods said.

San Antonio Design Group CEO Tony Saucedo and principal engineer Roy Akiona will stay on with M&S Engineering. Saucedo told the Business Journal that the transition has been pleasant, adding that both companies had strengths that complement each other.

“We have good people, and we give them the tools that they need to do their job, and they go do their jobs, if they stumble, we help them. We don’t micromanage.”

Listed as the only Native American-owned engineering firm in the Alamo City, San Antonio Design Group was able to use its minority-owned status to land lucrative contracts with the city of San Antonio and Bexar County. All of those contracts will be finished under M&S Engineering, although Saucedo said he and his staff will now be more competitive in pursuing private-sector work.

“With M&S coming into San Antonio, we immediately became a powerful competitor as well as a strong contributor to the city of San Antonio,” Saucedo said.

M&S Engineering co-founder Keith Strimple said he worked with Saucedo and Akiona while employed as an engineer with the city of San Antonio — well before starting his own company. The idea of a merger came last year from an M&S Engineering employee who worked with San Antonio Design Group on various projects.

“We’re using that office as our seed office,” Strimple said. “We’ve already hired another engineer.”

M&S Engineering’s other co-founder, Brian Meuth, said the firm is growing but will maintain a culture that has made it one of San Antonio’s top places to work year after year. The company hosts regular events for its staff and converted an old barn at its Spring Branch headquarters into a gym where employees certified as cross-fit trainers host workouts.

“We try not to be overly formal but realize that you still have to be professional,” Meuth said.

Operating under a mantra of enabling its employees to succeed, Strimple said the same philosophy will be applied to the firm’s new office in San Antonio.

“We have good people, and we give them the tools that they need to do their job, and they go do their jobs,” Strimple said. “If they stumble, we help them. We don’t micromanage.”

Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | February 17, 2016

Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields




GREGORY RIPPS — Tom Turk of M&S Engineering answers questions from Floresville Economic Development Corp. President Ray Lamberth and other corporation members about the city’s parks master plan at a May 9 joint workshop.

It’s not a sports complex. It’s a community park.

The latest iteration of a proposed parks master plan, dated May 9, includes new baseball and multi-use fields, along with other amenities around the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center. The plan also takes into account existing park facilities throughout the city and their maintenance needs.

Tom Turk of M&S Engineering presented highlights of the plan at a May 9 public workshop, conducted jointly by the Floresville City Council, Floresville 4A Corp., and Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC).

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San Antonio Food Bank Breaks Ground on New Facility in New Braunfels

David Sears | KSAT 12 | March 29, 2016

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas – A new distribution facility in New Braunfels will help the San Antonio Food Bank as it serves not only Bexar County, but Comal County, as well.

According to the latest U.S. Census, Comal County is the seventh-fastest growing county in the country, and with that growth comes needs. One of which is to make sure feeding families is need is a smooth operation.

The food bank broke ground Tuesday on a new facility to help
make sure the need is met. The 28,000 square-foot, two-story facility will be a distribution hub for New Braunfels and Comal County.

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FEDC Targets Two City Parks for Restroom Upgrades

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | February 17, 2016

The restrooms at Floresville’s Skate Park and Watts Park will soon sport new steel fixtures. The Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC) approved funding for the improvements during its Feb. 8 meeting, after Floresville Parks Foundation President Doug Jones said the foundation could take care of painting the restrooms.  “We can find some workers,” said Jones, who already has led volunteers in rehabilitating Skate Park. Watts Park, also known as American Legion Park, is located near the intersection of Fifth and D streets. Skate Park is a few blocks northwest, on A Street.

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Home buy-out grants possible

Paige Lambert | The News Dispatch | November 24, 2015

The Wimberley City Council unanimously approved two firms to assist with the city’s hazard mitigation grant application. Council chose M&S Engineering for engineering services and Langford Community Management Services to provide grant writing and administration services. According to City Administrator Don Ferguson, the point of the grant is to find assistance with elevating and/or potential buyouts of homes.  He said the process began a few weeks ago after the prompting of city council and some interest from residents. Ferguson added there have only been a handful of residents interested in funds for elevating and even less for potential buyouts.  “Once we’ve told some of those people when they elevate they will have to go to the (advisory base flood elevation maps (ABFEs)), they have backed off from it,” Ferguson said.

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FEDC Chooses M&S Engineering for Parks

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | September 23, 2015

The Floresville Economic Development Corp. (FEDC) wants M&S Engineering to come up with a $30,000 master plan for the city’s parks. FEDC Executive Director Tommy Baker said after the corporation’s Sept. 14 meeting that board members spent “considerable time” in executive session to make their decision. “We wanted to choose a firm and get them started as soon as possible,” Baker said.

Board members heard presentations from Intrepid Surveying & Engineering and M&S earlier in the evening, and from Bury Design & Engineering Consulting Services and Rialto Studio at an earlier date. Baker said board members chose M&S to develop the master plan “based on a history of working with their multi-talented team” and “their background in park design.”  

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Floresville Unveils $3.5M Plan to Overhaul Water System

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | September 16, 2015
Floresville unveils $3.5M plan to overhaul water system
GREGORY RIPPS — Thomas Turk, senior project manager with M&S Engineering, displays an illustration to explain well rehabilitation at Floresville’s Sept. 10 public information meeting.
Floresville has a plan to overhaul its water system. 

Representatives of M&S Engineering presented the plan at a Sept. 10 public information meeting at City Hall. The plan includes a number of projects, ranging from replacement of storage tanks and meters to major rehabilitation of water plant sites.  One of the first projects will be to replace the aging 6-inch pipes in the downtown area with new 8-inch pipes.

“Our strategy is to start with the part of the city that’s the oldest,” M&S senior project manager Thomas Turk said.

Execution of the plan will cost an estimated $3,575,000, which the city hopes to fund through a grant and loan combination from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  Turk said that, if everything falls into place with funding and bids, the water projects could be completed by the end of 2016, but more likely in 2017.  Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner said that, combined with wastewater and street projects, “We’ll be up and cookin’ by 2018.”

Floresville Awards Contract for Event Center Repairs

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | September 2, 2015
Floresville awards contract for event center repairs
GREGORY RIPPS — Steve Smith (right) assures Floresville City Council members Aug. 27 that he and other landowners affected are satisfied with the city’s revised non-annexation development agreement.

(Revised 9/4/15) Roof leaks and mold in the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center will be fixed, after Floresville City Council members decided to award a contract for repairs during their Aug. 27 meeting.

STI General Contractors of San Antonio got the job, upon the recommendation of M&S Engineering, which handled the selection process.  The work will include repairs to the roof and the building “envelope” and will address mold and other water-related issues. The repairs will cost $830,000, which will come from funds received in a legal settlement with the event center’s original builder. Floresville City Manager Henrietta Turner said approximately $855,000 remained of the $875,000 settlement after funds were spent for interim air conditioning repairs.

Jonathan Houston of M&S said that he “repeatedly” emphasized that STI avoid any interruption in event center activities. March 1, 2016, is the deadline for completion of the repairs.

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Workshop Paves the way for Better Floresville Streets

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | August 19, 2015
Workshop paves the way for better Floresville streets
GREGORY RIPPS — Tom Turk of M&S Engineering presents a street-maintenance program at an Aug. 10 Floresville City Council budget workshop.

The Floresville City Council is planning to budget $750,000 for street repairs in fiscal year 2016. Tom Turk of M&S Engineering proposed at an Aug. 10 city budget workshop what could be done with that amount of money. Turk said he based his plan on the city’s 2012 master plan, under which city crews resurfaced parts of Trail and South Fourth streets.

Turk’s proposal lists 22 streets or street sections, including six identified by council members in 2014, for repair. The proposal prioritizes the streets, based on their condition and use. Most of the streets can be rehabilitated by “chip seal,” which is adding a new surface on the existing surface, Turk explained. Streets in more serious condition will require “full-depth reclamation,” which involves digging up, remixing, and reusing the original surface material and then adding two chip-seal surfaces.

“Eighty percent of the streets in Floresville have no base material,” Floresville street supervisor Alex Treviño noted.

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M&S Estimates Event Center Repairs

Gregory Ripps | Wilson County News | July 17, 2015

Long-needed repairs to the Lauro G. De Leon III Floresville Event Center may begin in September, if the Floresville City Council sticks to a recommended schedule. The Floresville City Council’s June 9 workshop included a presentation by M&S Engineering, prioritizing the event center’s problems, recommending solutions, and providing estimated costs. Council members authorized M&S last September to begin its study and propose a plan. After identifying leaks in the bitumen roof as the primary problem, M&S recommended replacing the entire roof.

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